In 2015 uAvionicx got its start: to develop and manufacture com­munications, navigation, and surveillance products for the un­manned aviation industry. Thus the first three letters of their company name, UAV. It has been just five years since uAvionix has brought that talent to general aviation and it would be accurate to suggest that their entry into the GA market and “crewed aviation” has been significant.

In 2015, with ADS-B looming, most GA pilots believed they were looking at a $5,000 bill to meet the ADS-B mandate. Three years later, uAvionix would show GA pilots how to meet the ADS-B mandate for less than $2,500, and as a result became the most popular option for GA pilots. You may have noticed that the engi­neers at uAvionix are not only interested in producing avionics that are more affordable, but they are also focused on ease of installation and reducing labor costs.

The uAvionix skyBeacon and tailBeacon were products designed only for the US market where the UAT solution to ADS-B is legal. That made sense. The US was leading the world with ADS-B equi­page with the 2020 mandate date. With the rest of the world going the Mode S ES transponder route for ADS-B, it wasn’t long before uAvionix had a Mode S ADS-B solution for the rest of the world and they were smart enough to include “diversity” to meet Canada’s requirement for dual, top and bottom antennas. Again, a creative solution at a significant reduction in investment for the GA pilot.

In 2019, uAvionix purchased a small startup named Aerovonics who had developed a lower cost, solid-state electronic flight instru­ment. The AV-30 AI and AV-20 backup instrument were legal only in the experimental market at that time and uAvionix would take them across the finish line for certified aircraft. Let’s take a closer look at the products that uAvionix has brought to the certified GA market since 2018 with emphasis on the AV-30-C and AV-20-S which right now, is the talk of the GA EFIS market certainly among legacy aircraft owners.


The skyBeacon was the first product from uAvionix that got approved for certified GA aircraft in 2018. The skyBea­con uses UAT technology and works with a standard Mode A/C transponder to meet the ADS-B mandate. Priced today at $2,099, it mounts on your port wingtip and simply replaces your ex­isting red position light and includes a strobe light. It utilizes the original wiring (in most cases) and installs quickly, often in just 4 hours.


The tailBeacon was certified in 2019 and simply replaces your white tail-position light, again using the aircraft’s original wir­ing. Like the skyBeacon, the tailBeacon has an internal WAAS GPS Encoder and position light (no strobe) and provides ADS-B Out via UAT on 978 MHz. Also priced at $2,099, it is even easier to install.


The skySensor is a recent ad­dition to the uAvionix line but belongs here in the discussion. The skySensor matches the sky­Beacon in appearance and replaces your existing green starboard position light, with the strobe. It is also a receiver that captures ADS-B WX and traffic and sends it wirelessly to your smart tablet. It is priced at $750, which is competitive with other portable ADS-B receivers. It also upgrades your position light to LED, adds a strobe light to the starboard side and eliminates the portable device in the cockpit (which can be a bit cumbersome).


As I had mentioned, the sky and tailBeacon were created for the US market where a UAT solu­tion is legal. Everywhere else in the world, the Mode S transponder with ES (extended squitter) is required. In addition, some countries like Canada have decided that an ADS-B solution must have diversity with dual (top and bottom) antennas and uAvionix again came up with a solution in 2021 that meets these requirements and is easier and less expen­sive to install. The tailBeaconX replaces the aircraft’s rear position light and can be controlled through an EFIS unit or from uAvio­nix’s AV-30-C or AV-20-S electronic flight instruments. The tail­Beacon X is $2,499 for interface to a compatible EFIS or available in a bundle with the AV-30-C for $4,598. Installation is simple and fast and saves literally thousands of dollars versus alterna­tive Mode S systems with diversity. So, you add Mode S ADS-B coverage to your aircraft and also upgrade your vacuum attitude indicator to the AV-30-C for about the same as adding a non-diversity Mode S transponder to your aircraft. If you are only focused on technology and are ignoring the value, you are miss­ing the message. uAvionix is providing state of the art technology and saving pilots significant dollars (equipment and installation) with each of their products!

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